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Nation's Satirists Mourn Loss Of Santorum Campaign
BOSTON (CAP) - The CAP News flag was at half-mast this week in honor of former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, who has finally abandoned his hopeless but highly entertaining campaign for the Republican nomination.
"That guy was batshit insane," said Brit Michaelson, a humor columnist for a newspaper in Ohio. "The mere thought of him as a potentially serious contender for the Republican nomination made me want to do a swan dive off a tall building.
"But I have to admit, he made my job a lot easier," Michaelson noted.
Political humorist Will Friedan agreed. "When Santorum was in the picture, all I had to do was find a transcript of whatever completely nutso thing he'd said at his last rally, and my columns pretty much wrote themselves," he said. "I'm going to miss those dead shark eyes, buddy.
"Good luck with your disturbingly simplistic world view," added Friedan.
Other writers were quick to note that the candidate's abandoned campaign, although ultimately for the best, has left a gaping hole in the nation's satirical landscape.
"Santorum honestly made my skin crawl," said Brenda Johnson, founder of the political news site LoLPolitics.com. "But as far as good comic material was concerned, he had the Midas touch. That whole 'man-on-dog' comparison for gay sex? You can't make something like that up."
Johnson shook her head admiringly. "He really was one in a million."
From his painfully over-earnest demeanor to his medieval ideas about contraception, Rick Santorum has long served as a wellspring of hilarity for humor writers who now find themselves struggling to learn more about frontrunner Mitt Romney in an effort to fill the void.
"Romney's funny and all. But I feel like all the Mormon jokes are so overdone already - and his handlers are becoming more careful about keeping his verbal gaffes to a minimum," Johnson said.
"Santorum's crazy was just so raw and unfiltered. The way he'd look right into the camera and say that higher income people don't have to pay taxes if they don't want to. He made everything feel fresh and new," she added wistfully.
"I'll always treasure the time he said JFK's speech about the separation of church and state made him want to throw up," said political humorist Vance Withers, whose satirical blog, TheVanceReport, had for months included a Santorum Sweatometer, which featured a new quote from the candidate each day, rating it for craziness using a scale of 1-5 sweater vests.
"I hope to see him on Fox News again sometime soon, so I can at least make some more sweater vest jokes," Withers added. "I think I'm going to miss those most of all."
As of press time, Santorum's delusional concession speech, in which he referred to his limited success on the campaign trail as a "miracle," had been mocked by nearly half a million websites.